Life: Colorado Recap and Giveaway Winner

DSC_1193{The hike around Dead Horse Point. The blue in these lakes is a natural phenomena from salt.}

You guys, Colorado was absolutely amazing. I never get tired of traveling to new places and visiting ones I love. This trip, we hit the ground running, and we were off to Utah within an hour of our plane landing. Our destination: Indian Creek, one of the world’s best places to crack climb.

DSC_1204{The desert view contrasted so beautifully with the colorful flowers and blue skies}

DSC_1339{Newspaper Rock – a site full of ancient Petroglyphs}

DSC_1517{My first real crack climbing experience. Here I am climbing the route: Wavy Gravy, named for the literal wave formation you can see in the rock. So hard – to climb these, you stick your hands and feet into the cracks and use your limbs as leverage to work up.}

Our climbing experience was nothing less than awesome, challenging, curse-word inducing and fun. We climbed everything from slab rock on Wall Street right outside of Moab to cracks in Indian Creek to a desert tower (the Southsix Shooter) near our campsite.

DSC_1583{Our rack of trad climbing gear and taped up hands, an attempt to save ourselves from cuts and bruises. It worked, somewhat}

DSC_1586{The approaches to each of our climbs was nothing short of an adventure itself. They often involved a lot of hiking, steep climbs and loose rock. More often than not, our belaying areas didn’t feel altogether safe. Here I am belaying while seated and decked out in my crack climbing gloves.}

 DSC_1693{This view of the lakes and six shooter towers (one of which we climbed) against this crack, Scarface, was on the cover of Climbing Magazine. Here, my brother tackles the crack.}

DSC_1737{Canyonlands – a most magical place full of jutting rocks.}

DSC_1929{A carin overlooking the view from the Southsix Shooter desert tower climb. Carins serve as natural trail markers in the outdoors.}

This was easily the most terrifying event of my life so far. To get to the climb we started on a 4W drive back road, hiked a flat terrain, hiked up a semi-steep loose terrain, and then scrambled up a very steep and very loose terrain. When we arrived at the top, the wind was howling and you could see dark clouds and rain looming for miles. Virtually every member of our crew doubted we would even be able to climb. See, the thing about climbing this particular type of rock, sandstone, is that it just doesn’t do so hot in the rain. As in, your gear can come out and the rock can erode away under your fingertips. It also involves three pitches, which means the leader climbs and sets your gear in the cracks, the second person climbs and removes the gear as you go (I was the second climber here). Then you meet up and start the next round of climbing. Multi-pitches are used when one rope length isn’t long enough to get you to the top. When we finally summited the tower, we were on an area about 5×5 feet and it was both exhilarating and slightly scary to have a clear 360 view from some 6,000 miles up. But we could also see those rain clouds coming in FAST and felt the wind pick up with strong gusts every so often. While we were locked in to our anchors, a fall of about 10-15 feet could certainly happen. We waited out the storm as long as possible and then in the middle of the downpour we figured we should rappel down and get the heck off this quickly soaking rock.

DSC_2006{Andrew as we were finishing our down-hike from the Southsix Shooter climb and the stark contrast in the quickly changing weather out there is apparent.}

DSC_2414{If you look closely, you can see three figures at the top of that rock on the right. That would be Brent and his friends Justin Mike. This was in Mill Creek Canyon, our rest day/cliff jumping/hike spot}

DSC_2706{Doing my first chimney climb in the South Platte region}

Andrew and I have definitely left a part of ourselves in Colorado and the west. We have discovered a love of mountains, the open sky and the adventurous and friendly vibe of the people we have met. I know there will be future trips in store, but for now, you can probably find us at Manchester Wall and making weekend trips to Virginia and West Virginia climbing spots. Oh, I’m also on the hunt for petite and stylish outdoor gear (naturally!), so if you know of any brands, send them my way!


GIVEAWAY WINNER – LIZ THOMSON!

Thank you for all your entries into my giveaway for dedicated readers. A huge thank you to Lather and Elements Beauty Shop for providing the item.

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2 thoughts on “Life: Colorado Recap and Giveaway Winner

  1. Ok first of all, that looks like an AMAZING vacation! Alex and I have been trying to think of a fun vacation this fall and Colorado is definitely on our list! I’m showing him this post to see if I can convince him to take a more active vacation ;) haha

    And OMG! I won?!?! This is a pretty freaking awesome way to start a Monday!!!!! :)

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